The #1 question I receive from working moms is, “Allison, how do you build businesses and still be an awesome mom?”
My answer never changes…stop trying to do it all.
8 years ago on my first day back from maternity leave I had to fire an insubordinate employee. That was not the ideal way to ease myself back into the workforce, but it happened. As the days and weeks went on I realized that no one cared that I had received no sleep the night before because of my crying baby. They didn’t care if I was tired, exhausted, or frustrated. They didn’t care that I didn’t have a private location to pump my milk or if I was still healing from giving birth. They just went along their way doing their work and expecting me to “catch-up” from my two month leave.
My guess is that if you are a mother and you’re working you can relate to my situation.
I remember thinking to myself, “How in the H(insert swear word here) am I going to do all of this and be the mom I want to be?” Instead of getting mad, I decided to leverage my strategic thinking to benefit my own life (and now yours). I was going to stop doing a bunch of things in order to reach my goal of being a great mom and great at my work. I was going to learn how to use a powerful two letter word to get what I wanted. NO!
Jump forward eight years and I still don’t have it perfectly figured out, but I am doing better. It’s the little things that add up to time savings in my life. Things like having my groceries delivered save me an hour or two of time each week. This allows me the time and energy to do what I do best, communicate with other badass moms and business owners. I’ve made the decision to put my time and energy into what I do best and delegate or ditch the rest. If you want to build an awesome business I suggest you do the same.
I needed to train myself to think like a strategic genius every single day. This strategic genius comes out in me planning everyday and project thoughtfully. It shows up in the planned days off with my children to play. It shows up in a massage I scheduled while someone else is editing my new book. Or in intense focused work to prepare an amazing training for a global client.
You can do both. You can be both an amazing business owner and an awesome mother.
Here’s the secret….time management!
Each of us have a limited resource called time. Each week we have 168 hours to do everything. There is no changing this. So, how we use our time is critically important, especially if you want to run a business (or two) and be an awesome mom.
For one week, I want you to track everything you do from buying groceries, paying bills, work, clients, marketing, answering emails, making calls, working out, laundry, washing the car, kid time, cooking/eating, date-nights, mowing the lawn, etc.
Then after you have created your list of items, you’re going to review them with these 3 questions in mind.
Here are some ideas to think about:
- What can I automate? (Write an ‘A’ next to these items): At the end of the week look at your list and circle the items you could automate like grocery shopping, cooking (meal plans), bill paying (set-up autopay), booking meetings with others (calendly), Exercising (set up a workout class you go to every week at the same time/location)
- What can I delegate? (Write a ‘D’ next to these items): These are the items you don’t like doing and they are a waste of time for you to do. Things like cleaning your house, car, social media marketing, running errands, and other business related tasks that are draining your energy.
- What can I ditch? (Cross these items off completely): These are the items you just need to stop doing completely. Items may be scrolling through social media, watching television, reading the newspaper, finding other things to do that keep you busy, but not productive? Ditch those items.
My guess is that this one activity probably freed up at least 5-10 hours each week. You know what you do with that time? Spend it having fun with your family or friends. Write a list of fun activities you could do with each season of the year and start planning the adventures. Our family does this and we have our family adventure days. Even with COVID we’ve found fun things to do like: hiking, going to parks, camping, swimming, creating art, making forts, movie nights, campfires, bike rides, etc.
The secret to feeling like you are rocking it at your business and being an awesome mom is giving yourself time to do both. Take the day off with your kids. Do the fun things, life is short and at the end of it you’ll remember the day you played with your child, but may not remember the reason for the work call you made.